Students participating in this policy seminar will:
an understanding of the concepts and structure of
policy and regulatory systems for environmental protection; and how
those concepts have been applied in the U.S., including evolution of
regulatory systems to address emerging environmental problems and the
institutional factors that shape these decisions.
familiarity with the scholarly literature and with the types of
government agency documents that embody U.S. environmental policy.
Demonstrate the ability to critically analyze selected
particular policy issues using the literature, and to critically assess
relative advantages and disadvantages of various regulatory approaches
in the abstract and as they apply to specific environmental problems.
is an advanced course. The readings, discussions, and assignments are
structured with the expectation that the student has some understanding
of environmental policies and some proficiency in policy analysis.
(NOTE: Both of these texts are available in
electronic format for use on an Ipad, Kindle, Nook or any laptop or desk
top computer that can use Kindle, Nook or other ebook reader that supports
these texts. What this means is that there is no reason for any student
to report to me they are unable to fully participate in this course
during the very first class session due to lack of a textbook).
(2010) Environmental Politics & Policy. (7th Edition).
Washington, DC: CQ Press.
Layzer, Judith A.
(2011) The Environmental Case: Translating Values into Policy
(3rd Edition). Washington, DC: CQ Press.
of the class.
I will plan to present lectures on some overarching topics about
policy development, conceptual approaches to environmental regulation,
and about the history and structure of U.S. environmental policies and
regulations. Other presentations will focus on particular selected
topics within U.S. environmental policy. The instructor will assign
readings about the selected topics, using the class texts and other
sources, including the specific topics selected by each group.
25% - 25
Writing Assignments (3 assignments)
15% - 15
25% - 25
25% - 25
Research Paper Presentation & Defense
10% - 10
The class has an orientation toward analysis and discussion, so
your active preparation and participation are a key part of your grade
evaluation. I encourage questions and discussion. It is crucial that you
complete the readings before they are discussed in class, and that you
prepare intelligently for class before discussing and analyzing the
material and related concepts. This includes the readings assigned for
each class session. Students are expected to actively engage in
thoughtful discussion that is on topic and makes critical use of the
Students must complete all readings before coming
to class and will be penalized for coming to class unprepared.
& Classroom Setting
expected to participate in all class sessions. If some unavoidable
circumstance results in your missing a session, please confer with the
instructor before class if at all possible, or immediately after class.
Students who expect to miss class for reasons related to observance of
religious holidays should inform the instructor no later than the second
week of class.
Students will complete brief papers on assigned topics, to be
selected. Written assignments are to be submitted in Word or Rich Text
Format, double-spaced, 10 point type, with ample
margins (no less than 1 inch), and no more than 10 pages in length. Students should pay attention to
organization and clarity of writing and all work must strictly adhere to
The research paper will address a topic
derived from the case studies found in The Environmental Case by Judith
Layzer (2012). Class will begin with a lottery and the student will
develop their research paper around the case study chapter they draw
from this text . Students will thoroughly research the literature around
which the case has been developed and will update information on the
case whenever that information is available. They will also compare the
case they are working on to similar cases that have dealt with similar
issues and critique similarities and dissimilarities. The research
case analysis must be well-supported with full citations and references.
The paper should provide a careful
critical analysis of the policy and/or scholarly issue you are working
should cite (and make analytical use of) supporting
documents from the scholarly literature and/or appropriate texts, as
well as primary sources for government policy, in addition to the main
document you are critiquing. The paper must be no more than 30 pages in
length, double-spaced, with ample margins for instructor’s comments.
be expected to present their research papers to the class in a 10 minute
presentation and must be prepared to address issues and concerns raised
by classmates as well as defend and critique the major assumptions of
their paper. All students in the class are expected to study the case
studies students will be presenting on prior to coming to the class and
in preparation for critiquing their fellow students.
of Ideas and Academic Honesty.
care to properly attribute text and ideas when citing published
literature or other work, including Internet sources. Directly-quoted
text and adapted ideas from
previous work must be fully cited and documented. Failure to do this is
not only careless scholarship but actually violates academic standards.
Students are expected to understand the definitions of all forms of
plagiarism. Students who violate the prohibition against plagiarism will
fail the course with a “permanent F.” Please refer to in-class
discussions, and feel free to discuss with me further, to be sure you
understand proper use and attribution of ideas in academic writing.